Pam Dudding, contributing writer
A small-town community seems to enjoy the closeness its surroundings allow. Craig County is one county that revels in that privilege.
On June 26, the New Castle Library hosted another “swap day.” They have discovered that people enjoy bringing items to swap, exchange or donate.
Many, from young to old, participated and seemed to all receive something of value to them.
It is said that Silas Templeton was intensely absorbed in a book on the hot Swap Day, as he is not the average nine-year-old that bounces from text message to text message. Templeton is on a long-distance journey, like a marathon runner.
“Those of us, who come to the library, seeking to discover new books, know that difference,” Jennifer Lovejoy, VP of Friends of the Library (FOL), shared. “A love of reading opens up a broader world of possibility, which is wonderful to see nurtured and sustained. The more books in the hands of readers, young and old, the happier we are as library volunteers.”
Later, by text, another teenager got his mother’s wish–list of books to bring home.
Carol King, the FOL Secretary and Dietitian at Catawba Hospital, set-up a table for the Catawba Hospital’s employment opportunities and said, “Overall, Swap Day was such good community interaction. I spoke with a young couple who were looking to relocate to this area and were happy to hear about employment opportunities. One local lady, who recently got her nursing degree, was excited about an employment opportunity closer to home.”
Jane Henderson, FOL Treasurer, shared, “For me, it was seeing someone excited about having free things available to them; especially a big chair that just did not fit in my new house and was perfect for someone else. I experience great energy and much joy during these community sharing events.”
The library porch became a gathering place for new and old residents as visitors from Roanoke and Martinsburg enjoyed its comfort.
“Local hospitality folks restocked their businesses with Craig County maps,” Lovejoy said. “Vehicles pulled in and opened up the back of their vans and offered their household extras for free adding to the variety of offerings from library volunteers.”
Kathi Toelke, a County Board Member, unloaded children’s toys and puzzles her family had outgrown and watched them get re-homed.
She also reconnected with new residents, the Templetons. “I had connected with the Templeton’s several times before, but Swap Day was an opportunity to introduce new community members to neighbors,” Toelke said. “I also love seeing kids get excited about free books. Another reward was watching things that had been a part of our household, get an opportunity to be appreciated by someone else, and witnessing their gratitude.”
“We are committed to continuing to provide this event,” they said. “We have discovered that Swap Day is valued by the community beyond free books. These events are vital to elevating our perception in the community.”